Cleopatra – Last Egyptian Ptolemaic queen who formed personal relationships with two of the Roman Empire’s top leaders: Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. In this way she was able to safeguard Egypt, her own country of rule from Rome’s encroachment.
Catherine de Medici – A young wife of a French King who manipulated politics in France to benefit her sons gaining political power. She is blamed for the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.
Sappho – First known woman writer. She wrote a lot of poetry that the Greek philosopher and teacher Plato referred to as one of the ten greatest works of his day. Unfortunately, only her giant reputation remains, as all her writings have been lost.
Joan of Arc – A young French women who saw visions that inspired her to lead a successful battle at Orleans. She became regarded as a mystic after she was martyred while still young.
Hildegard of Bingen – A well-regarded mystic, music composer, and published author about 1,000 years ago. She lived most of her life within a walled religious convent. Her writings were legendary and kings, popes, and people with great influence consulted with her.
In more modern times, many more women stepped up to not only become successful influencers, but world leaders in their own right. The following a just a few of the most influential modern women leaders:
Jane Austen – Perhaps the most prestigious woman author in history, Austen wrote many books, most of which remain best-sellers to this day. She paved the way for future writers with classic hits like Emma and Pride and Prejudice.
Catherine the Great – The most powerful political leader of the 1700s, Catherine was very influential in helping end poverty and build her home country of Russia into a powerful, dominating country in Eastern Europe.
Mary Wollstonecraft – An English writer who is credited with the tract “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” and as a pioneer in the early women’s suffrage movement.
Sojourner Truth – Brilliant African-American women’s rights activist and abolitionist. Her famous speech, “Ain’t I a woman?” made in 1851, gives a cogent and simple explanation of feminism.
Margaret Fuller – A writer who’s book, “Women in the Nineteenth Century” is considered an early plank in the feminist platform for female equality. She taught women to be less dependent on men.
Harriet Beecher Stowe – Famous writer who’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” promoted the anti-slavery abolitionist movement. President Lincoln credited her books for influencing him and other leaders.